A two-day summit focussing on curbing gang violence was held in Chilliwack on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Sikh Leadership and Law Enforcement Summit on Gang Violence brought together community leaders and police task forces to discuss the current gang environment.
Other topics included the development of action plans aimed at preventing possible gang membership and future violence among youth.
Participating groups included the RCMP, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C., MOSAIC and the South Asian Community Coalition Against Youth Violence.
The summit was a pilot project and the first in what’s expected to be a series of summits and other initiatives being developed as part of a province wide strategy focused on preventing gang violence.
30 representatives from 11 temples met with RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-BC for this anti-gang summit in Chilliwack.
The summit is part of a Kwantlen University research project on local gang violence, led by Dr. Gira Bhatt, director of Acting Together — Community University Research Alliance, which received a federal grant four years ago.
The summit marked another step in her research, fielding suggestions from the community.
Taranjit Singh Dhugga with Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, suggested the solution starts with parenting to keep youth away from drugs and gangs.
Police hope these insights will lead to an action plan to roll out in all communities, because it’s not only a South Asian problem, as most gang-related murder victims in B.C. are Caucasian.